Bella Otter will be competing in Stage 4 of the World Cup in Colombia next week
ATASCADERO — Atascadero archer Bella Otter was at it again, this time representing Team USA at Stage 3 of the World Cup in Paris, France. The tournament took place from June 20-24.
Although this was not Otter’s first international tournament — she won two gold medals at the Pam American Championships in Nova Scotia back in early June — this was her first time overseas.
“Paris was awesome,” stated Otter. “This was my first international tournament that really had an open door to everybody in the world, like all the countries that have archery teams.”
While the Pan Americans included archers from North and South America, the World Cup Stages are open to archery teams from every corner of the world.
“It was crazy just how many people were there, and how many countries were there representing. It was super cool,” added Otter.
Otter mentioned that it was amazing to be in the same space as people she’s looked up to for her whole career.
“[I was] in an arena surrounded by literally the best in the world. People that I have been looking up to for forever in this sport, and I’ve seen on TV. All of a sudden, I’m putting my luggage next to theirs,” she said of completing in Paris.
She stated that many of her other USA teammates had competed internationally before, but for Otter, moments like Paris were all brand new. She added that she was pleased that she was able to stay focused in such a new environment.
“I kept a good balance of really appreciating where I was, but not letting it completely send me into a spiral of overwhelm and getting starstruck,” added Otter.
During the Paris qualifiers, Otter shot well while also learning and taking in her new surroundings.
“There were some things that I learned specific to my shooting while I was actually up there on the line,” she stated.
On Elimination Day, Otter shot against Italy’s Marcella Tonioli. Tonioli has previously won one World Cup Final and five World Cup stages. Otter said that it was cool to shoot against her.
At the end of their round, Otter and Tonioli were tied with three arrows each left to shoot.
“When it all came down to it, she ended up sinking her last three [arrows] right in the middle. So she shot a perfect score,” continued Otter. “So the only way for me to be able to even take it to a shoot-off would have been to tie her again. But I ended up dropping two points. So she got me by two. But it was still cool to know that I am in league with a lot of these folks.”
Otter might not have come back to Atascadero with any medals from Paris, but she came back with a wealth of knowledge that she will be able to use when she competes in the Stage 4 World Cup in Colombia next week.
“I definitely think there’s a lot of room for me to take a lot of the things I discovered and learned about in Paris and apply them to Colombia, given that it’s a really similar, huge scale of international competition,” stated Otter.
The Stage 4 World Cup in Colombia is the fourth and final stage before the World Cup Finals, and they will take place from July 18-24.
“This is happening, you know; I am actually at this point where I get to have these experiences,” Otter said. “Which is something that is just really mind-blowing and really exciting at the same time.”